Google, Plus Too Many Mistakes = An Accident Going Somewhere To Happen

There are few things in the world you can get away with failing over and over and continue to survive. Ever heard the saying “If you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same results”? Here we go again…

In case you didn’t know, I have written on the Google Plus thing more than a few times.  Here is a little timeline…

April 12, 2011 – I started writing on the shift I saw in Google’s internet dominance and that a significant change in their business needed to occur in their business focus or they may be in trouble. I wrote – Google and Goliath – The Social Media Wars where I first predicted Google would be in trouble if they did not “innovate within the social media space, producing the next significant platform or component”, they would go the way of AOL.

April 13, 2011 – I continued this post with a Part 2 due to the massive response and uproar from many people that essentially called me nuts. I ended the post with a word to Google that stated “Either innovate, integrate and dominate, or face very troubled times ahead.”

June 23, 2011 – I wrote The Future of Social Media is NOT Networks, But Relationship Management – Where I discussed that the last thing we need is another social network, but instead need additional and better technologies that improve the ability to manage and improve relationships.

Jun 28, 2011 – Google Announced Google Plus – After two previous social network failures, Google makes a third attempt extremely late in the game, well after the industry has established itself.  Mistake 1

* That day I privately said to my business partner and two others “What you just saw was Google Tapping Out”.  As in, calling uncle…

Over the next several weeks their decision to limit users allowed to a select few and invites only, builds frustration and anger that alienates many potential loyal users. Mistake 2

After a few insignificant posts on this issue I continued with:

August 29, 2011Three Reasons Google Plus Is Facing Difficulties – Here I outlined what I believed are the major obstacles Google Plus was facing and that this endeavor was a large mistake.

September 19, 2011 – I came completely out of the closet on my G+ views with a post entitled The Google Plus Failure, Now Jeopardizing Google Itself, which publicly predicted the general failure of their social network and how their decision to try yet again in the space now put their entire business at risk. I went further and provided a five step plan they should adopt to thwart an impending disaster.

Beginning of AugustGoogle announces it’s purchase of Motorola Mobility –  Mistake 3

Say what you will about this, but beginning to see major gains in the mobile OS market that are resulting in massive market share improvements against the iPhone, driving you to then compete with your other customers using your OS is epic stupidity!

Through all of this, I have taken a significant amount of heat from people on my views. Most of the industry “Experts/Guru’s” where touting how great G+ was, how it was going to kick butt and take over, even changing their Facebook profile pics to be the “I’ve Moved” Google Plus logo. Though many continued to call me crazy and beat me up publicly on this blog and in the social graph, I stood firm in my views on this issue. Then…

October 10, 2011 – Mashable releases an article titled Google+ Traffic Falls 60% putting a nail in the coffin of this debate. Is it over, no. Is it as good as, I think so…

Make no mistake about it, I am NOT a Google hater. In fact they are my default search engine, I use Chrome religiously and am a HUGE advocate and user of my Motorola Droid. But the facts are the facts.  Google has made three major mistakes in the marketplace, not the least of which is Google Plus. These poor decisions have put them in a extremely bad position looking toward the next five years.

My appeal to the leadership and board of directors at Google is; Get some focus and determine where you can compete, innovate and most importantly lead market share and put your resources and talent there. Failure to do so is a train wreck.

I will end this post with something I have been saying to the folks that have vigorously hammered me on these views over the past year. “Better doesn’t win. Market share does.”

UPDATE: As if it couldn’t get any worse, Mashable released a post called Google Engineer Accidentally Posts Rant About Google+ A train wreck, just a train wreck!


17 thoughts on “Google, Plus Too Many Mistakes = An Accident Going Somewhere To Happen

  1. Rob, I completely agree. I think Google has been making many mistakes and I never got what all the buzz was about for Google+. Facebook grew in a natural way starting with college students followed by HS students and then opening up to companies and geographies. There was purpose and reason behind Facebook because so many people in college used it to get to know one another. From there, the positive experience reached more people.

    Google+ is really just an afterthought and a poorly implemented one. Hangouts and huddles? Why do I need that? Also, you’re point about limiting users at launch really backfired. Perhaps they were going for exclusivity to enhance interest?

  2. I agree with your comment on “Better doesn’t win – market share does”, but only within the realm of sales because such things are measurable over time by raw numbers and charts you can present in a conference room.

    I think when people disagree with you, they go the route of personal belief and quality – and in some cases, yes, overall quality. Windows obviously carries a 90%+ market share but is also pretty well known in being pretty clunky and having a lot of viruses. Mac on the other hand, has less viruses, about 1/5th of the market share BUT is known around many circles as having better quality products, longevity and usability among folks who aren’t so technology savvy.

    I’d like to think of market share as an overall sentiment of some product or product category, looking at sales and then looking beyond sales. Just because you can flood an industry as Android has with 30+ phones while Apple has the 3GS, 4 and the 4S doesn’t necessarily give you the ability to just say they have “dominating” market share. The small things matter too.

    Just my $0.02. :-)

    1. I only have ONE comment in response Albert. The ONLY reason Apple doesn’t have MORE viruses is because they have a MUCH smaller market share, thus making them a lesser target for hackers and over seas virus buffs. It’s not that they are better or more secure…

  3. Personally, for Google+ to survive in one form or another I think Google will have to acquire Twitter. Or Facebook will have to acquire Google. Otherwise, there is no need for another network. I don’t think either of these will ever happen, but it is what needs to happen.

    Goodbye Netflix! Goodbye Google!

  4. Agree with the article. I do like the layout and structure of Google+ over Facebook recently… mostly because Facebook is becoming a cluster$@% of other site’s features.

    Ps… the Mashable article is misleading. Google+ has been having a pretty steady increase in traffic after the start of beta with tons of postings. I just recently became active on there watching the trends and being the evil marketer that I am.

    1. Mark,

      I don’t think it is misleading at all. It is data, not views of people using it. No doubt they had a ton of growth early, with early adopters, however the facts show that it is quickly becoming stagnant and as I explain in my posts about this, that is where it will remain. About 35-50 million geeks and techie folks. The average user will not switch.

      Thanx for jumping in!


  5. All I’m saying is after the 1,269% initial spike as people only signed on to check out the features during the public opening (mostly thanks to the big red arrow on the Google search page), it was bound to have a crash. Most people associate this with failure, but I just tend to think of it as realistic. It took Facebook a pretty long time to get people on there and posting regularly. Will the common user switch to Google+? It would definitely be a huge struggle for Google (and they’d probably have to hope that hacker group crashes Facebook for some external help).

    Other than the initial curiosity boom, Google+ hasn’t been declining in traffic. That was my only point on that one point of the article. Like I said, I’m all in agreement with the rest.

    BTW I market science equipment and supplies. Can you get a much better target market than G+ right now? haha

  6. Plus, maybe I’m just surprised that a social media site where people hate every single update to the site is still on top.

    Their only strength is in the number of people already using the site and not wanting to switch. I tend to pull for any competition that arises.

    1. Again, I disagree with the assessment here Mark. However I agree that market share is ALWAYS the winner. That’s the entire point of my Google Plus view and articles…

  7. I sent that post that Steve Yegge made to my friend!

    I absolutely agree with everything you said above. The whole Google+ situation… yeesh!

    Nice post. Very up-to-the-minute! :)

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